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San Francisco Police Are Utilizing Driverless Automobiles As Cell Surveillance Cameras

Model S Touchscreen Failures Prompts NHTSA Investigation

BeerFartMoron shares a report from Motherboard: For the final 5 years, driverless automobile firms have been testing their automobiles on public roads. These automobiles always roam neighborhoods whereas laden with a wide range of sensors together with video cameras capturing every part occurring round them to be able to function safely and analyze situations the place they do not. Whereas the businesses themselves, akin to Alphabet’s Waymo and Common Motors’ Cruise, tout the potential transportation advantages their companies might sooner or later supply, they do not publicize one other use case, one that’s far much less hypothetical: Cell surveillance cameras for police departments.

“Autonomous automobiles are recording their environment constantly and have the potential to assist with investigative leads,” says a San Francisco Police division coaching doc obtained by Motherboard through a public data request. “Investigations has already accomplished this a number of instances.”

Privateness advocates say the revelation that police are actively utilizing AV footage is trigger for alarm. “That is very regarding,” Digital Frontier Basis (EFF) senior employees legal professional Adam Schwartz instructed Motherboard. He stated vehicles normally are troves of non-public shopper knowledge, however autonomous automobiles could have much more of that knowledge from capturing the main points of the world round them. “So after we see any police division determine AVs as a brand new supply of proof, that is very regarding.”

As firms proceed to make public roadways their testing grounds for these automobiles, everybody ought to perceive them for what they’re — rolling surveillance units that develop present widespread spying applied sciences,” stated Chris Gilliard, Visiting Analysis Fellow at Harvard Kennedy Faculty Shorenstein Middle. “Legislation enforcement companies have already got entry to automated license plate readers, geofence warrants, Ring Doorbell footage, in addition to the power to buy location knowledge. This follow will lengthen the attain of an already pervasive internet of surveillance.”

Learn extra of this story at Slashdot.